The Co-op, the Methodist Church, Israel and God

Anyone who seeks to discipline another person’s child can expect a negative parental response.

LightningBehind the most recent scandal involving a Methodist minister and the Co-op bank there is the possibility that God was just doing what he said He would.

Amongst the God's promises to Abraham, He said to patriarch concerning the nation Israel:

"I will bless those who bless you, and those who curse you I will curse" (Gen 12:3).

Inasmuch as God calls the Jewish people "My people" (Ex. 3:10) it is the exclusive prerogative of the Almighty – if and when necessary – to bring discipline to bear.
A parent may chastise one of his or her children, but woe betide anyone else who tries to do it. In the same manner the Almighty will come down on those who feel it their duty to chastise the Jews.

Over the past couple of years and through to the present day both the Methodist Church and the Co-op have been engaged in the anti-Israel Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions (BDS) agenda. This campaign, aimed at damaging Israel's economy and international standing, is in effect a self-righteous and de facto anti-semitism which purports to stand on the moral high ground; condemning Israel while simultaneously ignoring the actions of the real pariah states in our world today.

With regard to God's warning: "whoever curses you I will curse" (Gen. 12:3) there are two different Hebrew words translated into the same English word "curse". But the two original words are quite different, and the English translation obscures the true meaning. In effect the verse says: "Whoever speaks badly of you (qalal) I will bitterly curse (arar)".

"inevitably this raises questions of the church as to how trustworthy it is."

Rev. Gareth Powell, assistant secretary to the Methodist Conference
What has happened in relation to the Methodists and the Co-op – in a fashion which speaks so much of divine orchestration (you just couldn't make it up) – is that both the denomination and the commercial outfit have been humiliated and exposed, respectively and simultaneously, by the hand of God who remains true to His Word.

In one sense Israel is no worse than most Western nations and is certainly better than most of what we see in the rest of the Middle East and the world beyond. But that is not the point. The issue is that the Jewish nation – whether the Methodists, the Co-op or Uncle Tom Cobley and all like it or not – have been and continue to be chosen by God to work out His purposes in our world.

It would be quite pointless to say "heaven help" others who aspire to bringing judgement to bear on Israel, as in fact 'heaven' will do the exact opposite. Through the prophet Joel, God warned: "I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will enter into judgement against them concerning my inheritance, my people Israel, for they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land" (Joel 3:2).

It may be that the Co-op, the UK Methodists and ex-Rev. Paul Flowers have been most recently feeling the sting. It remains to be seen if the world – and even much of the church – will learn the lesson.

Christians Together, 25/11/2013

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John Miller 02/12/2013 09:56
Dale, where Christians gather, as long as it is a place where they can fellowship together in peace, is of no consequence. The house of a godly person or persons is obviously very suitable. On the other hand if the number exceeds that which is comfortable and appropriate it is better to rent or purchase a suitable meeting place.

The important thing is to seek out and participate in collective worship and witness. That is a clear pattern in Paul's ministry. In many parts of the world today our brothers and sisters in Christ are prevented from doing this or do it at the risk of their lives.

Those who sit at home in self righteous isolation are simply saying that there are no born again believers in their vicinity who are worthy of their Christian fellowship. It shows a lack of understanding and appreciation of the biblical teaching of the body of Christ here on earth.
Colin Ford (Guest) 02/12/2013 21:37
I would respectfully ask you to reconsider your last paragraph.
Some cannot, for many and varied reasons find the Christian fellowship in their locality that you are obviously so blessed to enjoy?

John Miller 03/12/2013 10:01

I am in periodic contact with the Christian community in China. They risk liberty, personal safety and life itself in a determination to fellowship with God and one another. I could go into graphic details how their bibles are ripped from their hands when their services are rudely and illegally interrupted etc. these Christians put us to shame.

Paul counselled the church at Ephesus to "keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace". Many confuse unity with unanimity. In our fellowship I do not know if some others share my judgement about the interpretation of certain scriptures. They may but there again they may differ on certain points of theology. That doesn't trouble me. I believe that we do meet together in the unity of the Spirit and are held together in the uniting peace of our fellowship with the Father, the Son and the Spirit. I state this, I trust with all due humility and solemnity.

You live as I understand on the Island of Lewis. We have several in our fellowship from Lewis and are looking forward to a visit from a servant of The Lord from lLewis. God willing he will preach on Saturday evening and twice on Lord's Day.

I have never been to Lewis but am assured by my local brothers and sisters in Christ that godly enjoyment of the things of God can be experienced there. Of course if lack of transport or ill health prevents you getting to a place of biblical Christian worship that is another matter.

To go back to my earlier reference to our Chinese brothers and sisters in Christ, I could well imagine that they would walk miles to enjoy what we can do in what is still a country where by God's grace Christians can meet freely for worship and witness.
Dreamer (Guest) 03/12/2013 11:42
I would agree with you - as one who has to travel a round trip of 35 miles to enjoy fellowship of like-minded believers in a small house group.
Its not easy - and in these days of great falling away its going to get even harder......
I could, of course, start to attend the local C of S....but what woud be the point in seeking unity of the Spirit - where there is no unity of the Spirit.
Colin Ford (Guest) 03/12/2013 14:24
Indeed I am very, very well aware of Christian persecution in many parts of the globe, and how soft things are here. I DON'T live in isolation.
But things are a changing very fast in this once most favoured and blessed lands?
You mention China, did you read Corrie Ten Boom's warning about how false eschatology affected Chinese Christians?
Make no mistake about it, a day IS coming (actually now is?) when ordinary folk like me will be persecuted just for trying to live a godly life?
We know well about Christian B&B's, the Co-op etc. 2 Timothy 3.12 KJV.
Dreamer, verily, verily I agree.....
John Miller 04/12/2013 09:09
Colin as a matter of fact I have not accused you of living in isolation. I know nothing about your living arrangements apart from your own posts. I have to doubt however that the persecution that you are suffering now, and I do not doubt that this is true having no knowledge of your experiences, cannot be likened to the persecution of the Lord's people in China.

May I also say that to criticise "false eschatology" among these folk on the basis of a book written many years ago is a road that I would not take. Christians who put their life on the line in the pursuit of their faith in Christ are worthy of our admiration and our fervent prayers.

It is easy to become obsessed with our understanding of certain aspects of Christian theology to the exclusion of a common fellowship that we have through the death, precious blood and the resurrection of the One to whom we owe everything. Believe me I know.. I have been there.

I do deny that antichrists are operating here with increasing fervour. The encouragement and promotion of sodomy is the most striking example of this, but at the moment we cannot equate the beatings, denial of freedom and martyrdom being endured by Christians in countries where Christianity is effectively proscribed.
John Miller 04/12/2013 09:12
Typing error: "I do deny..." Should be "I do not deny..." Apologies!
Editor 20/03/2014 20:30

A former Treasury official commissioned by the Co-op Group to examine how it incurred a £1.5bn financial black hole is being paid £2,000 a day by the debt-laden mutual.

Read on..
Ron MIlburn (Guest) 20/03/2014 20:54
a book written years ago...
Editor 18/05/2014 18:44

"The starting capital position of the bank for the four to five year recovery period is weaker than in the plan announced last year," said chief executive Niall Booker.

Read on ..

The Co-op has been highly active in the 'Boycott, Divestment an Sanctions' campaign against Israel.
See -

God said: "I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse." (Gen 12:3)
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